Over the last year, many of us have spent quite a bit of time at home, and our furry friends have enjoyed all the extra time together, right? Well, according to one study, cats might not have.
Researchers surveyed 400 pet parents to gauge the differences among pet behaviors and attitudes during quarantine. While the results were based on human perceptions of the animals’ reactions to their time at home, it still offers some insight into how different animals might react to their owners being home more.
According to the survey, overall pet ownership didn’t greatly impact levels of loneliness and mindfulness, but there were differences depending on which type of pet you had during quarantine. Those who had a dog saw a decrease in the effects of loneliness, as they were able to touch another living thing.
The answers among cat owners, though, were a bit different. About 40% of the respondents with cats believed their animals dreaded spending more time together and were “put out” by their presence. There was also no increased mindfulness for cat owners. In fact, they were found to be less mindful than even those without any pets.
Jessica Oliva, Ph.D., says in previous observations “cat people” have been found to be a bit more neurotic than dog owners. In short, they might just be prone to think their cats don’t like them very much, but also, dog ownership requires more interaction.
“Dogs encouraged [owners] to take them for a walk and offered them an opportunity to socialize with other people,” Oliva said. “Both walking and socializing are positive in terms of mental health.”
Think your cat enjoyed being quarantined with you? It’s entirely possible, but when it comes to offering the most mental health benefits, it appears that dogs remain the winners.